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All The Light She Held Inside

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Lying in the road in a pile of horse manure whilst wearing head to toe spandex, Zoe Carter is forced to re-examine her life. If we're being honest what she finds is dull. She has the hobbies of an eighty year old and a boyfriend who at best is ambivalent
towards her.

In a bold move Zoe packs her bags and moves to London. Armed with determination and the pepper spray provided by her best friend, she steps out into her new existence. 

What will the city have in store for a woman who has no idea of her own potential, and who is the stranger on the bench who has become part of her everyday life?

333 pages

Published October 1, 2019

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About the author

Lizzie Steel

3 books14 followers
I thought authors spent their days sitting writing avidly at beautiful desks in inspiring places, sipping sophisticated coffee-based drinks and oozing intellectual creativity. I thought once in a while they might go to a coffee shop, sit in the corner mysteriously, and pour their soul out in words whilst the chaos and noise happens around them. I thought authors were disciplined, working a set number of hours a day, writing a set number of words. I thought authors were grammatical Nazis, I thought they loved punctuation and went everywhere with a red pen, itching to correct someone.

I am signing up to join a new dentist.

"Occupation?" the receptionist asks.

I open and close my mouth repeatedly whilst my mind goes blank, despite the flurry of activity. What do I say? Am I between jobs, am I a stay at home Mum, do I work from home? There's no way I can say I'm an author.

"Housewife," I reply.

The word is out there before I realise what I'm saying. What even is a housewife in this day and age? I am a wife, I stay at home, but I'm sure the state of my kitchen would argue against the term 'housewife' with its scouring and dusting connotations.

How could I possibly say I'm an author? My boring Ikea desk is stuffed in the corner of my daughter's playroom, cluttered with bills, Barbie accessories, and failed attempts to copy Pinterest creations. Instead of writing avidly, on average days I sit at my computer and write a thousand words at most, often in the full knowledge that I will delete them the next day. On a bad day, the word count plummets to seventeen. I can't do punctuation. At all. It's so bad, I actively avoid the keys on the right of my keyboard in case I accidentally hit a semi colon and it changes my whole story.

I don't even like coffee, regardless of how much milk and syrup is put in to camouflage the bitter taste, to me it still tastes like I'm not grown up enough to drink it. In my quest to be a real writer, I went to a local tea shop one morning. I hoped to find inspiration whilst living out my dream and sitting with pen and paper within its comforting pastel walls. In reality, the noise and bustle was too much, and instead of writing, I spent four hours watching people come and go, whilst drinking tea and eating cake that I couldn't afford.

Those thoughts have been going through my head for the last eight months. Who am I - what am I?

Then suddenly I did it. I wrote the two words I thought I would never reach...The End. Suddenly there was a book before me. 100,000 words that I painstakingly wrote. Each one considered, each one a brushstroke towards my masterpiece. In two weeks my masterpiece will be published. Maybe people will read it - maybe it will only ever be me and my editor that reach the end. Maybe people will like it, maybe they won't; but whatever happens next, I have achieved what I have set out to do - I have earned the right to call myself an author.

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Lizzie Steel.
Author 3 books14 followers
October 14, 2019
Allow me to introduce you to my new book, All The Light She Held Inside.

Zoe Carter is my twenty five year old spirit animal, funny, awkward and completely unable to stop speaking. Join her as she packs her bags and moves to London for a new start, find out who the stranger on the bench is, and watch as she discovers all her untapped potential.

This is a fun, light and modern romance. I loved writing it, I hope you love reading it!
156 reviews
March 12, 2020
I received an ARC for an honest review. Lizzie Steel was a new to me author, but not any more. I am definitely reading her other books. I really enjoyed this story. This story is about Zoe and Harry. In the beginning of the story, everything was going wrong for Zoe, and after an accident that left her with 2 broken ribs and a concussion, she decided to move in with her best friend Steve and his boyfriend Tyler. As Zoe heals, she starts to walk the park by Steve’s building. During a walk, Zoe met Harry on a park bench where she thought he was homeless. They started talking and became friends.....of course more happens, but I’m not going to tell you. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!
Profile Image for Lauren Irwin Wale.
9 reviews1 follower
March 31, 2020
This book is darling, and I finished it in less than two days because I couldn't put it down. Even though some of the plot was predictable, I felt very connected to the characters and invested in them, more so than I do in similar new adult books. I enjoyed following all of the ups and downs, laughing out loud at times, and feeling let down at others. After I was finished, I found it stuck with me, and I kept thinking about it throughout the next few days.

This book was light and charming but still had depth. From her parents to dealing with death and secrets, I was very entertained and enjoyed reading it. Now I'm just hoping for a sequel so I can follow along in the story, hint hint :)

I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for ♡ Rhianna ♡.
156 reviews176 followers
January 22, 2022
OMG! Okay, I need to compose myself. I have been crying for half an hour straight now, just because the book ended and every time I think of any different direction this could have gone I start crying again. Yes. Yes I know I am an emotional roller-coaster. I can't even think of words to describe how amazing this book was right now. I'm going to have start this all over. lol.

Hi! Day #2 of writing this review. I'm leaving yesterdays roller-coaster review up anyway. We need a moment to appreciate all small authors like Lizzie Steel herself. Un-known authors don't stay un-known for long. It has been a while since I was laughing one page and then I would turn the page and cry. That's what Lizzie has done to me (thanks a lot). This is the sweetest book I've everrrrr read. I found it so easy to relate to these characters and put myself in their shoes! I have recommended this book to all my friends and they have all read the description and have added 'All The Light She Held Inside' to there amazon shopping carts.
*NO SPOILIERS* (your welcome)
Zoe Carter *main character of the book* has had a long and hard journey, but it leads to her living in her grandmothers cottage, being best friends with a guy named Steve who has recently fulfilled his dream of moving of London and having a house in front of the river. And she has a boyfriend named Carl who doesn't show how much he loves her, but they've been together for so long he obviously still loves her, he just has a lot to do at work. Zoe has a pretty decent life.
Then one night she wakes up to some strange man with a super annoying voice telling her she's going to be alright, and having ambulances get her out of the middle of the road. And Carl never shows up at the hospital to check in. Or call. Or send her a simple GIF saying get better. Nothing. So she decides she is going to visit her life long Best Friend at his apartment and recover there. He is thrilled with her arriving, but not with her caring heart this time. Zoe loves Charity work and volunteers ever chance she gets. So when she see's a man on a bench in a hoodie every night she walks by, she decides that helping the homeless is a great thing to do. But he's not homeless. And she can't help but feel something every time she talks to him and walks by him. But making friends or anything MORE than friends with a creepy stranger on a bench does not sound like her cup of tea. But there's a lot of different flavors of tea, so maybe if she were to just try she could make a good friend out of this. That is, if she doesn't get kidnapped or murdered.

This book is a steamy, sweet, light read. Perfect for a snowy night or a sunny beach afternoon. Now Lizzie Steel has me over here hoping that one day I will meet my perfect London boy, who "lives" on a bench. lol

*HUGE thanks to Lizzie for the advanced copy for an honest review! Reading from you has been a pleasure and will definitely not be my last from you*
Profile Image for Christy Hill.
4 reviews1 follower
March 4, 2020
What a light and fun-loving book! I quite enjoyed getting to know Zoe, Harry, and her boisterous GBF Steve.

This story is about a girl, Zoe, who realizes that there's more to life than what she is living. Deciding to make a change, she travels to London to stay with her best friend. Here she finds love in the most unexpected places: her job, a random man on a bench, and even within herself.

This romance was just what I needed to feel refreshed after reading a heavy book. I loved how Zoe seemed to grow and become more self aware throughout the story. Harry was endearing, and at times too perfect, but it made me love him all that much more. I would say that some of the plot details are predictable, but not to the extent that I would stop reading. Overall, I liked this light and witty read. This is a book I would recommend to romance fans and those who might struggle with their own self-image. I think we can learn a lot from Zoe's resilience and growth.

Thanks for the light and refreshing read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Komal.
86 reviews1 follower
March 6, 2020
It's a sweet romantic novel. Zoe is a cheerful, compassionate, self-made girl who doesn't think much of herself while Harry is every girl's dreamboy. Their lives are completely different yet they met and fell in love. The story also hits some social issues as well like body shaming, child abuse, homeless, charity etc. I loved Steve the best... I wish I had such GBF. Though the main twist of the story was quite predictable but it was still worth it. Over all ATLSHI is a sweet light hearted romantic read that will keep you smiling.
Profile Image for Katie.
20 reviews14 followers
March 4, 2020
I absolutely loved this book. It is a fun, light modern romance. I have a book hangover, it was that good. Zoe Carter is funny, awkward and very lovable. I hated Carl. Harry, one out of his shell is a modern day prince charming. He perfectly compliments Zoe, they are a perfect match. I cried with Zoe when her heart broke, I laughed until I cried when she accidentally sent a sext message, and I fell in love with the woman she becomes. 5 stars are not enough for the amount of love I have for this book. I cannot recommend it enough. You won't regret this journey through UK, as Zoe breaks out of her comfort zone.
Profile Image for Lin.
174 reviews9 followers
November 16, 2019
Why isn't this a bestseller yet?

I don't even know where to start. I loved this book so much! I enjoyed it completely!
This is the story of Zoe. A young woman who finds herself in a low moment in her life and realizes she has to make a change. And what a change!

This is such a hilarious book. It got me laughing out loud! And yet moving and cute.
I loved Zoe dearly. She has such a great heart. She's funny and silly. I liked her honest nature and heart. Plus, she is so relatable! And Harry, well, he is so amazing. He is just the best. I loved him too.

The story was well-written. And the plot developed perfectly. Also, the writing style was quite enjoyable. The characters and their backgrounds were showed correctly and coherently. Something that it is very important for the reader to get into the lives of the characters.
The book it's not the typical clean romances I read and like, nonetheless, it was delightful. Moreover, Did I say it was funny? Because seriously, it was extremely hilarious.

If you're looking for a pleasant reading. That is moving, funny, cute and delightful. Do not wait any longer. This is your book!

So, I repeat my question. Why isn't this a bestseller yet? Seriously, the world deserves to know this wonderful novel. Lizzie Steel has done an amazing job!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
Profile Image for Naomi Diver.
4 reviews
October 15, 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I devoured it in two evenings and couldn’t put it down. If you are looking for a modern romance that also makes you laugh out loud this is it! I found the characters relatable and genuine with their own individual voices. It’s a fun read which I would recommend to anyone looking for some lighthearted relief between the pages of a book. 🥰
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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